SNAP is the new name for food stamps. It stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and it is the federal program that gives families funds to purchase food. People often use both terms to talk about the program.
When families are able to access SNAP benefits, they are able to give their children the nutrients they need to grow and learn. SNAP helps prevent and treat childhood food insecurity. Hunger can have a negative impact on cognitive and academic development. But, food stamps can help keep children from experiencing that hunger. https://www.hungernet.org/research/foodinsecpov/National%20Office%20Docs/SNAP%20participation%20and%20academic%20performance.pdf https://www.hungernet.org/research/foodinsecpov/National%20Office%20Docs/SNAP%20benefits%20for%20children.pdf
Feeding America data updated 2/2013
SNAP benefits help families make healthier choices. SNAP-eligible foods include: Breads and cereals Fruits and vegetables Meats, fish and poultry, and Dairy products. SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase: Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco Any nonfood items, such as pet foods, soaps, paper products Vitamins and medicines, or Prepared meals that will be eaten offsite
Unfortunately, many people who are eligible for SNAP benefits are not applying. There are a lot of reasons for this, and I’m sure you have heard some of these concerns before. Don’t know if they are eligible…. (read slide) This is why we have programs like SNAP Outreach. Our goal is to make sure that people who are eligible are receiving the benefits they need.
This picture shows $16 worth of groceries
One SNAP Outreach Worker in Missouri can make a tremendous difference! Each worker can generate an average of $1,463,260 in benefits, or 614,820 meals. All data is tallied from 2008 USDA reporting for consistency. Eligible Non-Participants & Additional Benefits: http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/outreach/business-case.htm USDA recommends that the adjusted average benefit among non-participants is assumed to be 38.66 percent of the average among participants in each state. Additional Meals: Feeding America, Map the Meal Gap, 2011 Calculated by dividing benefits by the weighted average cost p (Number of applications submitted by food banks) * (average state application approval rate) * (average monthly benefit per household) * (average state benefit duration)
So, who are these eligible people who could be receiving food stamps? Food stamp eligibility is determined by gross monthly income, by household size, and by special considerations like whether the applicant is a senior or disabled. Eligibility is determined by monthly income, NOT employment status. Working families can receive food stamps.
There’s a very good reason for us to be talking about SNAP outreach with a network of agencies that serve and distribute food. We are all here because our mission is feed those in need as we work towards ending hunger. Our agencies are already serving people who may be eligible for benefits: From Feeding America: On the national level - only 40% of clients served by FA food banks were receiving SNAP benefits when data was collected for the Hunger in America 2010 study. We estimate that 70-80% of our clients are likely income eligible. This is especially important when we consider vulnerable populations and populations who are particularly underserved. As we all know, budgets are challenging everywhere these days, including at the state level. SNAP Outreach can help clients be well-prepared for their interviews with DSS and reduce the burden on already overwhelmed caseworkers.
A few simple ways your agency can help: SNAP Outreach workers in some areas can help clients walk through the application.
The basic idea of SNAP Outreach is to help clients understand what SNAP is, whether or not they might be eligible, and give them information to help them apply for benefits. Doing SNAP Outreach can mean a number of different activities. SNAP Outreach can be very easy – as simple as giving clients basic information in brochures and pamphlets. It can mean having paper applications available for them to take. SNAP Outreach can mean going a bit further to really help clients through the process. An agency can act as a host site, help your clients prepare for the outreach visit. Agency may also set up appointments for clients in advance of the SNAP Outreach worker’s session may happen during food distributions or during other times. An agency might also decide that their staff or volunteers want to help clients work with applications, and might get trained in how to do SNAP Outreach at their site. Great opportunity for some volunteers who want to do something a bit different. Trainings to be scheduled soon – sign up sheet!!!
SNAP OUTREACH Missouri
SNAP/Food Stamps Outreach
MFBA- Who We AreThe Missouri Food Bank Association is acoalition of the six Missouri Food Banksworking to provide hunger relief to everycounty (and St. Louis City) in the state.Collectively, we distribute over 90 millionpounds of food each year through a networkof more than 2,000 community feedingprograms.
What is SNAP?The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(SNAP) helps millions of low-income Americans putfood on the table, providing benefits that aretimely, targeted, and temporary. SNAP respondsquickly to changes in need, growing in response topoverty and unemployment. The program istargeted at our most vulnerable citizens,predominantly serving households with children,elderly, and disabled members. SNAP benefitsphase out as participants get back on their feet,with the average household staying on theprogram less than a year.
SNAP “Little known fact”– SNAP has been associated with reduced childhood food insecurity and reduced negative impact on cognitive and academic development as they grow older.– According to physicians and medical researchers, SNAP “is one of America’s best medicines to prevent and treat childhood food insecurity.”Edward Frongillo et al, “Food Stamp Program Participation is Associated with Better Academic Learning among School Children.” Children’s Sentinel Nutritional Assessment: Food Stamps as Medicine, February 2007.
SNAP: A Nutrition Program As the largest federal nutrition program, SNAP provides $72 billion in benefits to the more than 45 million people currently enrolled. Yet the SNAP program has the potential and the resources to assist far more low income households. Nearly 30 percent of individuals eligible for SNAP are not participating.
Threats of funding cuts to the Food Stamp Program Changes to SNAP that reduce eligibility or benefits cannot be adequately replaced by food banks and other private charities, or by local communities suffering the loss of local jobs. These agencies are already struggling to meet growing demands driven by long-term unemployment, falling wages, and rising fuel prices.
SNAP Nutrition Education• Fight obesity through education. Nutrition educators teach SNAPparticipants the importance of a quality diet, how toprepare healthy foods, and how to make healthy choices.• Put food on the table for their children. SNAP benefits are aninvestment in our future. Just under fifty percent ofparticipants are children.
SNAP Program Myths and FactsMyth: I can’t receive SNAP benefits if Fact: Assets are not counted in I have assets, like a car or determining eligibility. If the asset retirement savings. produces income, that income is counted.Myth: If I receive SNAP benefits Fact: The Food Stamp Program is an someone else will not be able to entitlement. Anyone who applies get them. and is eligible will get SNAP benefits.Myth: I can’t get SNAP if I am Fact: Many people who work at jobs working or receiving with low wages, or receive unemployment benefits. unemployment benefits, are eligible for SNAP.
SNAP Program Myths and FactsMyth: Applying for Food Assistance Fact: The amount of Food Assistance isn’t worth the trouble because benefits depends on family size, income and certain expenses. most people are only eligible for less than $20.Myth: Elderly people do not receive Fact: Medical expenses that exceed $35 a credit for medical and month may be deducted unless an insurance company or someone who is prescription drug bills. not a household member pays for them. Only the amount over $35 can be deducted.Myth: You have to go to the food Fact: Elderly people can get benefits for up to stamp office every few months two years at a time. You don’t have to go back to the office unless there are to keep getting benefits. specific changes to your case. You can also ask for a telephone interview.
Why don’t clients apply for SNAP?• Don’t know if they are eligible because of income• Don’t know if they are eligible because of immigration status• Don’t know how to apply for benefits• Have had a difficult experience with a local DSS office
EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) Card SNAP benefits are issued via an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. When clients use their EBT card to pay for food purchases, they authorize the transfer of their benefits from a government account to a retailer’s account. Below are images of the front and the back of a Missouri Electronic Benefits card.
Average Monthly SNAP Amounts• On average, monthly benefits are:
These items cost $16.00What could you buy with the average monthly SNAP benefit?
Who Is Eligible for SNAP? (October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013)Household Size Gross Monthly Net Monthly Income Income Limits (100 percent of poverty) (130 percent of poverty) 1 $1,211 $931 2 1,640 1,261 3 2,069 1,591 4 2,498 1,921 5 2,927 2,251 6 3,356 2,581 7 3,785 2,911 8 4,214 3,241Each additional +429 +330 member
Why do agencies get involved?SNAP Outreach aligns directly with our mission to end hunger.Agencies already serve several individuals that are unaware they are eligible.Agencies often have direct interaction with the three populations that are currently underserved for SNAP benefits: Working class poor Families with children Senior citizens and disabled individualsDSS caseworkers are overwhelmedHelp prepare clients for their interviews
SNAP Outreach is Simple• Provide fliers for clients during pantry or meal distribution• Ask clients if they know about SNAP benefits• Refer clients to the STL Foodbank SNAP Coordinator for application assistance
What is SNAP Outreach? • Flyers and brochures Distribute Information • Refer clients to services • Outreach worker comes to agency site • Agency advertises Be a host site outreach sessions and helps clients prepare for outreach visit Direct • Agency training in SNAP Application information and assistance assistance • Help clients directly during food distributions
Thank you for helping hungry Missourians!Questions or to arrange a SNAP outreach visit to youragency?Please call: Or contact:Melanie Hickcox Suzi SeekerMFBA SNAP Project CSFP Coordinator Manager 314-292-5396573-355-1204 SSeeker@STLFoodbank.firstname.lastname@example.org